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Power and Glory 7 November 2012

Posted by Dr Moose in Life, Ponderings.
Tags: , , ,

No matter how gutted I know many residents of the United States of America will be this morning, including some of those I am privileged to count as friends (even those I’ve never physically met), I strongly suspect that most of the liberal Western democracies, and quite a few other states, democratic or not, are currently letting out one enormous collective sigh of relief at the news that Barak Obama has been returned to the White House for a second term.

For months the contest has been in our media (I write as a Brit, living in the UK). In fact it would be possible to say only half-jokingly that the US seems to be in one long-drawn out election campaign since the year dot. I strongly suspect that the average Brit (or Western European even) has a far better idea about the national politics of the United States than the average citizen of the US has of ours…. or possibly even theirs. Friends, face-to-face, in the blogosphere, in the Twitterverse, have been full of it. Not all, but certainly many. I have sometimes felt the need to say that it’s not our decision, so we can wish all we like, but hat’s as far as it goes.

The reason it’s so important, of course, is that the result of the US Presidential Election has implications for us, as the current sole superpower, quite probably dying a long, slow death, but superpower none the less, is a truly global player. The implications of some of the wilder statements of the Republican candidate upon geopolitics were alarming, to say the least. And yet the one who for many was the obvious right choice (or should that be Right Choice) commands the support of millions of his fellow citizens, whose ideology leads so many of us on this side of The Pond to scratch our heads in disbelief and confusion that anyone can hold with such a wrong-headed philosophy. And I strongly suspect the incomprehension to be mutual, as my American friends think, “Yeah that Dr Moose seems a great guy, Intelligent, well-educated, but in that case how the heck can he agree with that? And him a Christian pastor?”

However, for better or for worse, the right choice, the wrong choice, the lesser of two evils, whatever, Barak Obama has another four years to try to guide the US in the ways of righteousness and peace (however we define that).

It also seems highly-likely that today there will be another announcement of election, or may selection, as all the omens point to the announcement of the new Archbishop of Canterbury being imminent. Not as big a global news story, nor even an enormous national one. Once again, while many active members of the Church of England I have spoken too have their own preferences, we too, have no direct choice in the issue, though it will effect the Christian Church both in the UK and abroad through the wider Anglican Communion. I await the results with interest.

And for both, the President of the United States of America, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, both being called to perform the impossible, with maybe far less real power than we think, I shall be praying. It’s one of the few things I can do.

The old song runs “Who wants to be a millionaire? I don’t” Well, of that I’ not so sure. But who would want to be the President of the United States, or the Archbishop of Canterbury – certainly not I – and they each deserve whatever prayers, support and lunch they can get in their rather thankless roles and callings.

May God bless America, and God bless the Church of England – in the ways that are needed, and not necessarily the ways most people want!



1. Tim Hall - 10 November 2012

Don’t envy either of them. Trying to heal deep divisions without compromising principles is never going to be easy.

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